Andaman crisis: Navy, IAF, Coast Guard deployed to rescue 1,000 tourists stranded on Havelock Island

Six navy ships, two coast guard ships, and three air force choppers were part of the operation. (Representative image) Photograph:( AFP )

DNA Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India Dec 09, 2016, 05.52 AM (IST)

The Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Jagdish Mukhi, said on Friday that approximately 1,000 tourists are stranded on Havelock Island due to bad weather. He added that 320 of them are foreign nationals.

The Indian navy said six ships and two Indian Coast Guard ships had sailed out from Port Blair for rescue operations Friday. Three Indian air force choppers were also part of the operation.

Mukhi had on Thursday assured that the tourists stranded on Havelock Island are safe and that there has been no damage to property or loss of life. Mukhi said, "In Andaman and Nicobar deep depression continues to prevail, but we are hoping the situation will be normal by the evening. In this week, there has been no damage to property or loss of life." He further said that only tourists have been asked to stay inside their hotels because of the bad weather and the rough sea.

On Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured that the government will launch the rescue operations immediately after the intensity of the cyclone reduces and evacuate the tourists stuck in Andaman's Havelock island. "Spoke to Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dr. Jagdish Mukhi who apprised me of the situation in Havelock Islands. All the tourists who are stranded in Havelock Island are safe. The government has made all the preparations to evacuate them," Singh tweeted.

The Indian Navy on Wednesday informed about their ships reaching Havelock Island and the evacuation of tourists from there to Port Blair to start as soon as the weather gets normal. Tourists were stranded at Havelock Island after heavy rains lashed the region.

The Andaman and Nicobar Disaster Management, which speculated cyclonic storm to hit the area, contacted Indian Navy and requested for an evacuation process be initiated. Havelock Island is the largest chain of Islands and is a famous tourist destination.

(This report first appeared in DNA)